Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks

Park Service may poison trout to save frogs in Sequioa and Kings Canyon

October 27, 2009, 7:26 am

The National Park Service wants to poison trout in some high-country lakes and streams to save a native species of frog. But some outdoor and environmental groups are worried.

The trout were planted years ago by wildlife agencies in the Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks. They eat mountain yellow-legged frogs, contributing to a 90% decline in the species throughout the Sierra.

A preliminary project to eradicate trout from 11 lakes in the two parks since 2001 has yielded dramatic results: Yellow-legged frogs have made spectacular rebounds at these lakes.

Now National Park Service officials want to broaden the campaign throughout the two parks -- while leaving the fish in many lakes that are popular with anglers.

Removing the non-native trout does more than help the frog, park officials say. It also brings back other animals up and down the food chain that are eaten by or compete with the fish, including insects, reptiles, birds and even coyotes.